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Mary Hyland

The organisation of migrant workers as a new constituency is potentially a mutually beneficial proposition for both trade unions and migrant workers, particularly in a context where unions are losing membership and influence and migrant workers are frequently subject to insecure employment and open to exploitation. This chapter examines the Irish trade union movement’s response to labour migration and its evolution, from the first roars of the Celtic Tiger in the 1990s, through the period of economic recession to the current indications of recovery, as the Irish economy is once again on an upward trajectory. It discusses the factors, both historical and institutional, that influenced the response and it considers Irish trade union revitalisation efforts and the role of migrant workers therein.